Every parent would like to see their child have a healthy, beautiful smile with straight teeth. Misalignment or a bite that is off in a young child may not be readily recognized by an untrained eye. On the other hand, your child may have misalignment or bite issues that are clearly visible and you may be wondering when you should make the trip to the orthodontist.
The Cases for Braces
There are several reasons a child may eventually need braces. Crooked, overlapping or crowded teeth or malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite,” may require braces to improve the function of the teeth. If your child has an overbite or underbite, braces are used to correct the problem. If the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, the child will have an overbite. The reverse situation produces an underbite.
Problems with the alignment and bite can be caused by early loss of primary teeth, thumb sucking or staying on the bottle too long, or due to an accident. Many of these problems are hereditary. If you or a family member wore braces, your child may need them as well.
Most often, your child’s regular dentist will identify a developing problem and suggest a visit to the orthodontist. Some children will visit the orthodontist as early as the age of six. The American Association of Orthodontists suggest that children should have that visit at least by age seven.
Getting An Orthodontic Checkup At Least by Age Seven
When you have your child’s teeth examined before age seven, the orthodontist is able to identify subtle problems in jaw growth. Some of the primary teeth are still present and permanent teeth are emerging or about to erupt. The orthodontist has special training that allows him or her to identify issues in their earliest stages.
Your child’s orthodontist can let you know if there is a developing problem or if your child’s bite is fine. If treatment is needed, the orthodontist will tell you at what age it should begin. There may be an issue that can be addressed with early treatment that can prevent more serious problems from developing. Early intervention sometimes makes treatment shorter or less complicated later on.
In some cases, examining the teeth early can make a big difference. There are situations where addressing a problem before the jaw stops growing provides better results than waiting until the child is older.
At Broad Street Braces, we are committed to providing the best treatment for correction at the most appropriate age. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists.